Outpatient vs Inpatient: Which is Right for You as a Therapist?

Working as a therapist is your passion. You know this is the job you want, but you’re not sure whether a hospital or clinic setting is right for you. Each type of facility offers the ability to make a lasting impact on patients’ lives, so it’s really a matter of preference. 

Whether you’re just starting out in your therapy career or an established professional, choosing the right setting for you is a very big deal. There’s a lot of similarities between the two, but there’s also plenty of differences. Use this guide to help you decided which type of job is best suited to your unique needs. 

Consider Where You’re at In Your Career 

If you’re a recent graduate, a hospital setting could be a valuable learning experience. In this environment, you’ll gain more exposure to patients with diverse needs. This can bulk up your resume, while helping you decide which specialty you ultimately want to pursue. 

On the other hand, if you’re an established professional who already has a specialty, working in a private clinic could be a better choice. You’ll be able to treat patients which specific needs, who seek out the clinic because of the dedicated treatment offered. 

Think About the Work Environment 

Hospitals and clinics are two very different settings. If you prefer a lively work environment where no two days are ever the same, a hospital might be your perfect fit. You’ll constantly be seeing new patients and challenged to find solutions to problems you might not have encountered before. This can make work more exciting, because it keeps you on your toes at all times. 

Conversely, if you’re someone who craves a routine, a clinic might be your best option. You’ll be seeing many of the same patients on a regular basis, and your days will be relatively similar. This means you’ll wake up each morning knowing what to expect, which can be very comforting. 

Take Your Personal Life Into Consideration 

Hospitals are open 24/7 and clinics are not. This is important to consider, because it will likely affect your work schedule. If you work at a hospital, there’s a good chance you could be expected to work nights, weekends, and holidays. However, you’ll probably follow a standard office schedule at a clinic. 

A hospital environment can be best for professionals who can tailor their personal life around work. If you’re single or married without children, a non-traditional work schedule might not be a problem at all. Conversely, if you need a job that allows you to pick your kids up from school and spend all holidays with your family, working in a clinic could be a better choice. 

Whatever you decide, just remember you can always change your mind. If you accept a job in one type of setting and later realize you’d rather be somewhere else, there’s nothing wrong with switching things up. 

Ready to find your next therapy job? If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at info@psychpros.com. 

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